Student Disobedience in School May Be A Sign of Enabling Parents

Actions speak louder than words

Randle Moore
Tales From the Classroom
4 min readOct 6, 2019

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This account is an actual event. All characters have been given pseudonyms.

A teenager sitting in a chair outside.
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

David was absent from my class

Lizzy said David was in the office, calling his dad.

Okay, not a problem. That happens all the time. Kids forget their lunch money, or their project, which is due today, or their gym clothes. Kids calling their parents is no big deal.

Lizzy said David was calling his dad because he got into an argument with his math teacher. David and Lizzy’s math class was doing a test. David was doing his scratch work on a separate piece of paper. His instructions were to do computation on the test. The teacher told David he had to have his work on the test paper for it to get credit. David refused.

David came into my class 20 minutes late

David told us he called his dad. His dad was angry. “With you?” Lizzy asked. David said, “No; with the teacher. My dad is going to meet with the teacher after school.”

Many of the students wanted to talk about how mean and unfair Mr. Smith, the math teacher, was. I wouldn’t let them. I told them it was not appropriate to speak of the teacher in class, but they could talk among themselves at lunch.

The students got on with their classwork.

Some students ask to go outside

Later, a student said he had forgotten his earbuds and needed to go out to the bench to watch the tutorial video. A second student also asked to go. The school custom is to allow no more than two students to go outside the room at a time. It becomes a problem of supervision if there is a significant split of students inside and outside the classroom. David did not ask to go. He just started toward the door with the other two students. I stopped him and informed him of the two-student limit. He sat back in his seat.

Later I noticed him leave the room without saying anything. I opened the classroom door and observed David on the bench with the other two boys.

A pattern of behavior emerges

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Randle Moore
Tales From the Classroom

Mature adult, active professional life in education, an observer of people, reflective on life, and somewhat knowledgeable about retirement.